Windows Vista was designed to thrive in two very different kinds of network worlds: the workgroup (an informal, home or small-office network) and the domain (a hard-core, security-conscious corporate network of dozens or thousands of PCs). Depending on which kind of network your PC belongs to, the procedures and even dialog boxes you experience are quite a bit different.
Chapter 24 guides you through the process of setting up a workgroup network, but no single chapter could describe setting up a corporate domain. That’s a job for Super Geek, otherwise known as the network administrator—somebody who has studied the complexities of corporate networking for years.
This chapter is designed to help you learn how to use a corporate domain. If your PC is connected to a workgroup network or no network at all, on the other hand, feel free to use these pages as scratch paper.
In the context of this chapter, the term domain refers to a group of Windows computers on the same network. It’s not the same as an Internet domain, which you may occasionally see mentioned. An Internet domain is still a group of computers, but they don’t have to be connected to the same network, and they don’t have to be running Windows. In addition, the domain name (like amazon.com) must be registered to ensure that there’s no duplication on the Internet. Because Windows domains are private, they can be named any way the administrator chooses.